REACHING OUT TO ALL LEARNERS: a resource pack for supporting inclusion and equity in education

Professor Mel Ainscow, professor of education at the Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change, has worked with the UNESCO International Bureau of Education and international experts to develop resource materials that can be used globally to promote inclusion and equity in education.

The materials focus on the greatest challenge facing education systems around the world, that of finding ways of including and ensuring the learning of all children in schools.

According to the materials, the promotion of inclusion and equity in schools involves developing a welcoming and supportive culture within school communities, and that the terms ‘inclusion’ and ‘equity’ must be clearly defined in ways that speak to a diverse range of stakeholders.

The UNESCO Guide for Ensuring Inclusion and Equity in Education (2017) defines inclusion and equity as follows:

  • Inclusion is a process that helps overcome barriers limiting the presence, participation and achievement of learners
  • Equity is about ensuring fairness, where the education of all learners is seen as having equal importance.

Reaching Out to All Learners consists of three guides:

Guide 1. Leading Inclusive School Development 

Guide 2. Developing Inclusive Classrooms

Guide 3. Working with Partners

Drawing on Professor Ainscow’s research over many years, the guides emphasise processes of collaborative inquiry, within which those using the materials are encouraged to work together in reviewing and developing their thinking and practices.

Whilst the resource pack can be read by individuals, it has been designed to encourage collaborative forms of professional learning within schools and other educational settings.

Commenting on the project, Professor Ainscow says: “The central message is simple: every learner matters and matters equally. The complexity arises, however, when we try to turn this principle into action. This is likely to require significant changes in thinking and practice within schools. This resource pack has been designed with this agenda in mind: it is about the development of thinking, policies and practice within schools.

“The publication of this resource pack comes at an important moment as countries take action to ensure educational recovery. Teachers are central to this challenge. Having piloted these materials in various parts of the world, we know that they can make a difference’.

Reaching Out to All Learners is available free at:

First published: 1 February 2022

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